As the way we communicate changes and new ways to communicate appear every day, the tools we use to take advantage of those new methods also change. Today, if you are looking for communication systems for your business, you can’t go anywhere without hearing the term VoIP. And while this term has already become well known among industry professionals, you might be wondering exactly how VoIP works. Let’s break it down.
What is VoIP? How does VoIP work?
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. Also known as IP Telephony or Internet Telephony,
it’s simply an alternative way to make phone calls, without a legacy phone. Or a phone line.
To get technical, VoIP takes analog audio signals (like your voice on a call) and turns them into digital data that can be transmitted over the internet. This makes it possible to connect phones over your internet connection or make calls from your computer, completely bypassing the phone company.
Since VoIP hit the market, carriers completely devoted to this service, like Vonage, are steadily growing and carriers like AT&T are adapting their services.
While these are the basics of VoIP, there’s a little more to it than logging on to Skype and making a call. Behind the invention that has the potential to completely replace the traditional phone system are different types of services and calls and different options you can add to your VoIP service.
ATA: An Analog Telephone Adaptor allows you to connect a standard phone to your computer and use your internet connection to make calls. This analog to digital converter takes the analog signal from your phone and converts it into digital data. Just plug the phone cable into the ATA box rather than into the phone jack on your wall.
IP Phones: These phones look just like a traditional phone, but instead of an RJ-11 phone connector they have an RJ-45 Ethernet connector. They connect directly to your router and have all the tools needed to handle IP calls.
Computer-to-Computer: Jumping on your computer is probably the easiest way to make a VoIP call. Just use an application like Skype, Slack or Google Hangouts, and you’re connected. Except for your monthly internet fee, there’s no charge no matter where you are calling.
Besides the cost benefit, VoIP allows for more collaboration than a traditional phone system, allowing more calls on one access line. And, once you understand how VoIP works, that’s when things can get interesting. By merging the power of VoIP with other communication technologies like instant messaging and video conferencing, you can experience completely unified communications.
VoIP also gives you the option of hosting your phone service in the cloud which means there is no longer a need for onsite techs to help when problems arise. The flexibility of the cloud allows you to expand your solutions as you grow and the option for on-premise management gives you complete control.
Once you are using VoIP for your communication needs, the possibilities of expansion are endless.